Solar Cooling: The Time is Ripe for Small-Scale Devices

Solar cooling at Bachler AustriaSolar cooling system at Bachler Austria: 40 m2 of flat-plate collectors drive an absorption chiller of the type Chillii PSC10 Photo: Solarnext

Heat from the sun can be used to cool buildings. Today, solar-assisted cooling is most promising for large buildings with central air-conditioning systems. However, the growing demand for air-conditioned homes and small office buildings is opening new sectors for this technology. The EU-funded project “Solar Combi+” aims to support the market introduction of solar thermal systems for heating support and domestic hot water production.

Producers and suppliers of thermal-driven chillers with a capacity of up to 20 kW from four different countries are taking part in the project ―among them Climatewell AB from Sweden, Rotartica S.A. from Spain, Solution Solartechnik GmbH from Austria, as well as SK Sonnenklima GmbH and Sortech AG from Germany. Running until February 2010, the consortium will start an extensive training and dissemination phase in the coming months, as the concept of small-scale combined solar heating and cooling is not yet well known by traditional solar thermal installers, planners, architects or potential clients.

”Now it is the right moment to support the market entry of Solar Combi+ with reliable dimensioning and a comprehensive analysis of promising applications“, says project coordinator Alexandra Troi from the Italian institution EURAC Research. ”In this way the spread of Solar Combi+ can go hand in hand with the building up of important solar thermal markets in Spain, France and Italy, for example.“

Besides the four manufacturers of small-scale chillers participating in the project Solar Combi+, there are a couple of other manufacturers covering the market segment up to 20 kW of chiller capacity (table for download)

More information: www.solarcombiplus.eu

Companies:

Climatewell AB: www.climatewell.com

Rotartica S.A.: www.rotartica.com

SK Sonnenklima GmbH: www.sonnenklima.de

Solution Solartechnik GmbH: www.sol-ution.com

Sortech AG: www.sortech.de

SolarNext: www.solarnext.eu

This text was written by Joachim Berner, a German journalist and solar thermal expert

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